Entrepreneurs who are hoping that the next bunch of school leavers will have better literacy than many of their Gen-Y employees are in for a shock.
A major OECD report has found that reading standards among 15-year-olds have slipped significantly. Reading skills at the high end of literacy ability are largely responsible for the slide.
This has dropped Australia from third place in 2003 to equal sixth in 2006. While Australia has slipped, Korea and Hong Kong have risen up the ranks.
There were also concerns about Australia’s math’s performance. While there was an improvement in the weakest students, there was again a fall in the performance of the top students.
The falls echo concerns that the education system does not focus on the brightest students. It also will place pressure on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to deliver his education revolution soon.